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The investigation of consciousness and the problem of human energy: contributions of William James to contemporary psychology

Grant number: 12/12261-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2012
Effective date (End): September 05, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:João Vergílio Gallerani Cuter
Grantee:André Oídes Matoso e Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:12/50005-6 - The Middle Wittgenstein, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):13/07451-8 - Esoteric traditions and altered states of consciousness, BE.EP.DR


The present research intends to present some of William James's contributions to contemporary psychology, in relation to two specific and closely related topics, namely, the investigation of consciousness and the problem of human energy. The problem of human energy is understood from a psychological perspective as the problem of accessing non-realized potentials present in each human being, so as to make possible a happier and fuller life. From James's perspective, this problem is closely related to the forms of functioning of consciousness, as the various possible forms of this functioning are understood as different forms of energetic configuration of consciousness. In James's work, this problem appears and is left open as a suggestion for future generations of philosophers and psychologists. After a period of various decades since James's death, the problem was recovered, under a somewhat distinct light, by the theoretical current of transpersonal psychology. My intent is to investigate how transpersonal psychology studies recover the line of research opened up by James and how, on the other hand, James's work may serve as a foundation and source of critical feedback for transpersonal psychology. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SILVA, André Oídes Matoso e. Toward a radical empiricism: on William James and the contemporary relationship between psychology and spirituality. 2016. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD) São Paulo.

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